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Re: [xmca] activity and reification

Anna and Larry,

I wasn't describing the development of a concept at all. The etymology of manzana was intended to be an example of the kind of historical change in word-meaning that LSV draws our attention to. None of my Spanish-speaking students is aware of this history, which illustrates his point that the inner form of the word can be lost or forgotten over time. Certainly it's not a part of these students' concept of [apple] - whatever that is!


On Apr 22, 2011, at 4:05 PM, anna sfard wrote:

> If I understood your question right, Larry, you are asking whether
> development of concrete concepts, such as apple, as described by Martin, and
> of more abstract concept, such as number, as described by me, have anything
> in common. If this indeed is the question, I can only speak of my
> impression, because I'm not sure whether I have a good grasp of Martin's
> thinking. And the impression is: of course they do. There is reification of
> processes involved in both of them. Except that the perceptual accessibility
> of the apple, as opposed to that of number (which is a reification of
> discursive rather than physical processes)makes a big difference in how the
> concepts actually develop and, more specifically, in the role of physical
> experience versus social interaction played in each of them. Hope this
> answer matches your question, even if is not quite satisfactory.
> anna  
> -----Original Message-----
> From: xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu [mailto:xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu] On
> Behalf Of Larry Purss
> Sent: Friday, April 22, 2011 5:42 PM
> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> Subject: [xmca] activity and reification
> Anna and Martin
> Anna wrote
> For kids, words do not partition the world in objects mainly, the way they
> do for grownups. Not even nouns. For the little (and cute) ones, words
> translate into routines - ways of doing things. One can see it with
> particular clarity in math. To give just one basic example out of the
> infinity of possibilities: Numbers begin their existence as procedures of
> counting - something you can see when your repeated question "How many
> cookies do I have here?" makes the child to repeat the counting rather than
> prompting her to simply state the last word she has prfeviously uttered in
> this process. It will take time till the reification/ objectification of
> number words occurs. Just like "bottle" serves a baby as a trigger for the
> routine of getting fed, so are the words such as "many", "more", etc. mere
> prompts fos r counting. In this latter case, however, unlike in the former,
> this procedure (counting) is a social game rather than anything that would
> have any direct practical significance.
> e difference is
> Martin you described how thw terms "apple" and "pomme" [fruit of fruits] are
> reifications of particular historical enactments which have lost their
> historical grounding and must be re-discovered.
> Anna or Martin
> Do you see both what the child is developing as it turns an enactment into a
> number and the adult developing the word pomme as equivalent processes of
> enactments becoming reified?
> Larry
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